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Insight on digital media from the team at LexBlog, Inc.

Being aware of misinformation amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


It would be callous to continue publishing on 99 Park Row without addressing or acknowledging what is occurring in Eastern Europe right now.

With our world connected and intertwined in such a digital manner, we’re able to receive news and updates in a fast, efficient manner. One of the downfalls to this, though, is the circulation of lies and misinformation.

Obviously, “fake news” has spread around the internet frequently prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine—but with so many of us glued to our phones and computers right now, we’re even more at the mercy of misleading claims.

False images and videos purporting to show scenes from the conflict have been circulated as people share and receive news from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Via BBC News:

One video clip seen by the BBC and proven to be several years old has been viewed more than 27 million times in one day, while another showed video game footage.

Even worse—in regards to circulating information—is what’s happening internally in Russia. Via the Globe and Mail:

Meanwhile, Moscow-backed news outlets spread word – immediately declared “a sick fake” by Ukraine’s foreign minister – that Kyiv is preparing a dirty bomb, and that border guards held up as heroes for their defence of a strategic island had, in fact, surrendered and were now “happy” in the arms of Russian forces.

Those guards have been lionized in the West for defiantly taunting a Russian warship at Snake Island, in the Black Sea.

“This is warfare playing out in cyberspace very much for the first time at this scale,” said Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks, an Internet monitoring organization. He has been tracking the Russian Twitter block since noon Moscow time. On Saturday evening, he said there were also signs of Russian blocks on access to Facebook Messenger.

This is just a reminder to be sure you’re fact-checking the media you’re consuming, especially before sharing it with others.

Though it’s by no means perfect, I’ve been following this Twitter List for up-to-date, reputable information. People are always going to make mistakes when reporting, but these sources have proven to be trustworthy as they’re made up of reporters on the ground and others who know what they’re talking about.

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